Mr H has been at boot camp for almost two weeks now; he made it there safely and things have never been better!
He's finally doing it - achieving his dream, following his calling. Somebody asked me how I can put up with him being gone; I had to honestly answer that I'd rather have him there than here. Why is that?
I cannot emphasize this enough! If he were here, he'd be a dried-up version of himself with no goals to pursue and no lifelong dreams to achieve. He'd be working long, back-breaking hours at a job that he excelled at, but did not thrive in. He'd have unrealized potential, unrecognized ability, unfulfilled passion. How could I possibly ask for him to stay here, and how could I possibly ask for him to be in a better place than he is right now, training for his calling?
Of course ... I miss him dearly! I think about him all day, every day. I keep pulling out my phone to text him, and it's so disappointing when I remember that I can't. I agonize over decisions, wondering what the best one would be - I've grown so accustomed to having his wisdom to turn to in everything.
But in all this, there is no regret!
The Anatomy of a Good Farewell: What makes a good-bye satisfying, comforting, and hopeful? When Mr H left, there was nothing between us that was unsaid. There was no hidden resentment or anger about issues unresolved in our marriage. There was nothing we wanted to do before he left that we hadn't accomplished; there was nothing important or surprising that needed to be said in the last few seconds, just sweet farewells.
Grace unsurpassed: Through everything, the Lord has blessed me! I haven't felt a moment of anxiety, worry, or fear. I feel completely at peace, fully at rest in my Saviour's care. I know my husband loves me and cares for me, and yet Jesus loves me so much more. Countless family members, friends, church members, and pastors have been praying for Mr H and for myself; several times before he left, groups of men gathered around him - at a men's breakfast, at his going-away open-house, at a Sunday morning class - and laid hands on him, uplifting him in prayer for the mission he was embarking on. Simultaneously at these times, I would find myself surrounded by women, their beautiful hands outstretched in prayer as they joined their strength with mine, encouraging me to draw closer to both my husband and my Lord, sharing wisdom and visions for our marriage.
All of this prayer and support has had an impact on our lives that cannot be measured - events and needs have fallen into place and been handled felicitously. People have emerged from the woodwork to ensure that I am cared for in Gary's absence. A friend has been sending me a good-morning message daily (I haven't mentioned it to her, but I do notice!), checking in on me to ensure my sanity stays in place! I have rarely felt more loved and cared for by my extended church family!
If you are one of those dear ones that has been praying for us, I cannot express enough thanksgiving for your ministry. It has upheld us and strengthened us in what could be a difficult and painful time, but has instead become an empowering and enriching experience.
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Next: Countdown to the reunion!
P.S. So many of you have asked for a picture of us to use as a prayer reminder that I am humbled and awed, and speechless in the face if His grace extended through your hands. In this spirit I humbly offer that if you do want a picture for a prayer reminder, I will happily give you one (just email me here). We will take all the prayer we can get!